Q: I need to know if I can use my mother's first husband's name in my screenplay without his permission.
I am writing a biographical screenplay about my mother. She was a famous romance novelist. She passed away in November, 2019. She divorced her first husband for cheating on her. Afterward she met my father. I have two half sisters and a full brother. My sister doesn’t want me to use her father’s or her name. Her father is still alive. I need him in my script. I need to be factual. My sister does not want me to use her father’s name because he cheated on her and she knows it. What can I do?
A: Writing about a living person can raise issues of defamation, right of publicity, and false light, among others. There are many ways to do it wrong and a few ways to do it right. Some details may just have to be left out. A more complete statement of facts and a careful analysis by an attorney would be required.
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